Melania Trump, America’s First Lady, is a lot of things. She’s an immigrant, a former model, a wife, and a mother.
Melania was born and grew up in Slovenia, a small country bordering Italy to the east. She came to the United States in 1996 to continue her modeling career and posed for several fashion magazines including Vogue, Vanity Fair, and New York Magazine. In 1998, she met Donald Trump. Donald had been separated from his wife Marla Maples for over a full year when they met. He had his eye on her like he had on several women before and he was able to give her his phone number. This began their relationship and it still exists today.
Melania and Donald later married at a church near Mar-a-Lago in 2005 and welcomed Barron into the world in 2006. She had known about Donald’s ambitions to run for president since at least 1999. She had mentioned on the Howard Stern Show that if she became First Lady she would be very traditional in the likes of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy.
However, their relationship hasn’t been as easy as it may have seemed. Donald sorta has a history. When you have two prior wives, that’s often a red flag for a lot of women. In his first marriage with Ivana, in a sworn deposition, she claimed he had raped her. This accusation was settled later with a non-disclosure agreement preventing her from talking further about their marriage. There was also claims of infidelity in that he cheated on her with his second wife, Marla Maples. Not much has been said about that relationship, but the story of his response when Tiffany was conceived wasn’t a great example of what that may had been like.
One of the biggest arguments I’ve seen against Melania has been “she knew what she got into”. With all of this information so easily found at the time, even pre-Google, she had to understand that being with Donald Trump meant there were some negative behaviors. However, as a young 28-year old model and new to the United States, perhaps there was some naïveté there. Maybe she thought she could change him. Perhaps he pulled out that “con-man” style personality he has and oversold himself to her to convince her he was worth it. Or maybe he threw out a bunch of money at her — nobody knows her true motivations.
I refuse to fault her under that premise, just as I don’t fault her under any of the political arguments that individuals have made. “She‘s a birther”, she’s used his words to push his agenda, and she’s “complicit” are all examples I’ve seen. If I were to describe her behavior, I would describe it as she’s “compliant”.
Look at how Donald Trump has treated women over his career. He just kisses them, he grabs them by the pussy, he‘s walked into rooms where young women were getting changed, he treats them like he treats Trump Tower. Women in Trump’s life have always been treated as personal property and he’s their overbearing slumlord.
With that history and with the way he’s treated Melania thus far, such as the scandal with porn star Stormy Daniels or the look and reaction from the inauguration, Donald Trump has control issues. Melania needs to be constantly under his control. He provides her that lavish lifestyle she has in return for that control. But slowly, Melania is breaking free. She has refused to hold his hand in front of cameras multiple times, she has rescheduled trips with him abroad, and she didn’t live in the White House initially after the inauguration. Who knows what else has happened behind closed doors since the latest scandal with Stormy Daniels or the other rumors of infidelity floating around?
At this such time, Melania needs the support of the American people from all sides of the aisle. She most likely feels trapped and has few people she can legally talk to. In fact, I would argue that it is likely that she actually is trapped under a number of non-disclosure agreements or some sort of arrangements if she wants to leave him. I can’t imagine what that might put Barron through or really what he’s going through now as a young child. There are stories about other Trump children not having the greatest childhoods either.
So with that being said, I firmly support Melania Trump at this time. I’ve witnessed controlling relationships firsthand and this has that sort of feeling from those in my own experiences. She may not be a saint, but she’s a human being with emotions just like everyone else. I hope by putting your feet in her stilettos, you might be able to see this too.